Nikon D300 Issues

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by a.j._olmscheid, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. Hello everyone,

    I'm a photographer at the Minnesota State Capitol, recently the House and Senate photo departments have
    purchased 9 new Nikon D300's four out of the Nine will have to be serviced because of two issues. That is
    a 40% failure rate. One issue is the allusive black frame. For some reason more than one of our cameras is
    producing a black frame. The next issue is a false "battery empty" warning, which in turn shuts off the
    camera. Please check out this posting that I found:

    http://www.notebooks.com/2008/01/22/d300-false-low-battery-warningsworthless-dslrthanks-a-
    lot-nikon/

    In order for Nikon to realize they have some bad cameras out on the market people need to start posting
    and blogging about this issue. I have to say though I am really happy with the D300 color and ability to
    shoot in low light situations. However, photography is all about capturing moments that will most likely
    never happen again. It is my job to capture those moments. Nikon is making it very difficult to do my job
    with their faulty cameras.

    Thanks for reading,
    A.J.


    "All things are photographable."
    Garry Winogrand
     
  2. lwg

    lwg

    I have not seen either of those issues with the one D300 I have. Must be very frustrating to get a couple of bad ones. Get them serviced right away, or better yet just return them if the vendor will take them back. Nikon will hear about it when they get the cameras back and have to fix them.

    I am sure these problems will be worked out in time. Make sure you post back the resolution.
     
  3. It would help fair and balanced reporting if you had included how Nikon/dealer has reacted to these issues. Pointing out problems is one thing, added the context of how these problems are resolved is quite something else.
     
  4. This is the first issues I've heard about the D300. You must have got a bad "batch" Mine works great and there are thousands of people on the internet raving about it. You would think if they were getting high failure rates you would be hearing about it all over. Angry customers are much more vocal then happy ones. I certainly hope they corrected the problems quickly.
     
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have used two different D300 bodies extensively: one I bought myself from a local camera store here in California and another one on loan from Nikon USA (in New York) to photo.net for us to produce the D300 review:
    http://www.photo.net/equipment/nikon/D300/D300-review

    I did not have any problems with either sample. My own D300 is almost 3 months old now with 6000+ images. I cannot be happier with that camera. Since I moderate the Nikon Forum here, I pay attention to all threads posted to that forum, and I am only aware of a few isolated D300 problems reported.

    I think A.J. might have run into a bad batch. Hopefully Nikon will replace them promptly and look into this problem. As with any piece of new equipment, it is your responsibility to perform some basic testing before depending on it for critical work.
     
  6. Like Shun, I have used also two D300, one loaned from Nikon and my own one. I didn`t experienced any problem. I can`t say more.

    Please let me be a bit damn with your post. I understand you are probably burned out with your experience, but this kind of post needs to be absolutely clean. Many people could not catch the reality from this kind of posts.

    Four out of nine isn`t a 40% failure rate: is a bad bunch of cameras. D300 are made at a 60.000 units per month rate, thought. Do you really think there are that percentage of failed units?

    After 25+ years shooting and working with tons of Nikon gear, I have certainly experienced some problems, but I cannot consider that this few ones make my lifetime work more difficult.

    About your link, it`s funny to read that this guy is starting to lose faith on Nikon because his SB-28 who "... haven`t touched for a while... seems to have died while in storage". For that reason we must lose faith on Energizer, Duracell, Metz, Sunpak, Toshiba, Compaq, and many other manufacturers who use batteries and condensers into their products who "died while in storage".

    Does Nikon fix that problem? If so, how fast? IMO we must be really hard with Nikon if they don`t fix that problems for free and in a short time. Has been this your experience?
     
  7. Oooops, looks like I`m becoming a Nikonist...
     
  8. Like some of the others said, what did Nikon do and say when you reported the problem?
     
  9. Wow, lots of responses! Well Nikon was very nice, but was not convinced that it was really
    a faulty camera issue. They want me to send my cameras in for repairs. However I would
    like to see if I can just return them to the store where they were purchased.

    Also, there are many others with my issue if you go to

    http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?
    az=show_topic&forum=149&topic_id=115109&mesg_id=115109&page=

    this is on Nikonians website. People who love Nikon are getting very upset over there
    D300's. Also, when I mentioned to Nikon about other people having problems and they
    are posted on the internet in various sites, forums, and blogs, they would not want to
    believe me.

    Also to Joe Angel about the bad batch of cameras. I agree it was a bad batch of cameras
    and I was simply saying that my camera failure rate was 40% not all of Nikons Cameras are
    going to have this high of a failure rate. On second thought maybe they could. Anyways, it
    is very horrible when you buy 9 cameras and 4 of them fail right away.

    Good Luck
     
  10. Thanks, Michael S.
     
  11. Guess what guys and gals two more d300's have experienced flawed issues. I'm pretty sure
    it's not a batch issue because they all have different serial numbers and also they were
    purchased from different stores four locally and the rest online. Out of the cameras here I
    have had a 66% failure rate, 6 out of 9 failed. 6 down 3 to go.
     
  12. AJ,

    You seem more interested in reporting problems rather than reporting on how they are/will be/have been solved. Are you sure there is no pilot error involved here?
     
  13. >>> I'm pretty sure it's not a batch issue because they all have different serial numbers

    >>> Are you sure there is no pilot error involved here?

    Makes you wonder considering the large volumes of D300 cams being produced coupled with
    large preponderance of favorable experiences reported over many sources on the net.
     
  14. Listen guys I'm no idiot when it comes to taking pictures. Meaning no user "pilot" error. Have
    you looked at any of the links I've posted. The issue is still being resolved and while it's being
    resolved their have been more d300's in my possession that have failed. I will post what
    happens when it is resolved and I have a working camera. I shoot hundreds if not thousands
    of pictures everyday and this issue has never happened to me until I started using the d300. I
    will also mention that I have had no problem with the D3. I have used Nikon my whole life
    and have been loyal, however situations like this makes one want to jump ship.
     
  15. How do you know it's not a bad batch of batteries? For the record, I've had my D300 since December and haven't had any problems with it.
     
  16. And what is Nikon or the dealer saying about all this?
     
  17. Already answered:
    "Well Nikon was very nice, but was not convinced that it was really a faulty camera issue. They want me to send my cameras in for repairs."
    end of quote
     
  18. Ok here's some more news from Nikon, from the photographer that works at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He's had the same problems and has shipped his to Nikon, through Nikon Professional Services. This is part of his email to me:
    I did get a call from a Nikon Pro Service person and they wanted the electronic images e- mailed to them so they could do some checking. They thought it may be some sort of circuit breaker that might be turning off the camera when the lens is doing what ever it does. Anyway I'm hoping they can track down something and solve the issue.
    Well that all that has been resolved as of yet. I'll let you guys know more when it happens.
     
  19. Thats awesome! Thanks, that made my day and it's only 9am.
     
  20. Is it possibly a climate issue? Coming in out of cold weather too rapidly?
    AJ is in Minnesota. The link in his 'similar' story on Nikonians mentions being outside in a car in cool overnight weather.
    Maybe condensation is shorting something and tripping that Nikon 'circuit breaker'.
     
  21. That is most likely not the issue. The d300's that I have used at the capitol are owned by
    the Minnesota State Senate so I'm not allowed to take them home. Also, due to cold
    weather not many events happen outdoors at the capitol this time of year. This year I have
    only taken the D300 out in the subzero elements once and the issue happened that day
    (not outside though). However, the problem still persisted on days where the camera did
    not go outside. Therefore, I do not believe it has to do with bringing it out into cold
    weather.

    Thanks everyone for the comments and concerns.

    I promise to post the resolution when everything has been solved.
     
  22. All I can say is ... WOW!

    6 out of nine. 66.66%. I would wonder if the same lens is used all the time. Perhaps not the same EXACT lens, but the same one handed out to all who get the camera to use for the state. Like everyone gets the D300 and a 80-200mm . There MUST be something consistant going on for THAT high of failure.
     
  23. Personally, I don't doubt the failure rate that the OP is posting, based on my personal experience. I shoot mainly wildlife and have a 500 AFSG-VR mounted most of the time, with and without TC's. I've also experienced these issues with a 300 2.8 VR, 300 f4 and 28-70 AFS.

    Body #1 (serial # 997) refused to focus at all when picked up at the store. It was replaced right then and there.

    Body # 2 (serial# 1597) worked great for 2 weeks and then AF slowed to a crawl, hunted severely and then the body began exhibiting the DBS / lockup and shooting black frames at 1/8000 of a second, with no other EXIF information. Again, this was replaced by the store after approval from their Nikon rep.

    Body # 3 (serial# 5999) worked perfectly for 4,988 images and then began exhibiting the exact same issues. I sent this to Nikon Melville and it was replaced.

    Body #4 (serial#25997) worked perfectly for 5,016 images and then experienced the same failures as 2 and 3. It is currently at Nikon.
     
  24. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    It has been two weeks since this thread was started. Is there any update to this case?
     
  25. I still have not received my camera back from Nikon yet. However, The photographer from
    the MN House of Representatives got his back. Apparently they changed an aperture piece
    where the lens connects to the body. This seems to have fixed the problem, of the black
    frame and the false low battery. It could be because it was causing some kind of short in the
    circuit, which then would shut off the camera (or give the false low battery icon). This
    problem only happens when I put a larger or even maybe a heavier lens on the camera. My
    camera is fine with the smaller lighter wide angle lens.
     
  26. YES, there IS a problem!

    I just posted this in the forum and I didn't realize this subject has already been touch on.




    "I recently had a problem with my D300 during a shoot. After about 100 shots my camera stopped working and it indicated that my battery was dead. Very strange as I just charged it the day before. I quickly changed to a fresh battery and shortly after it did it again. I powered down/back up and it was fine. This happened a few times during the shoot.

    Has anyone else run into this?

    Thanks, Tom"





    I would like to add that this series of events has only happened to me once so far and I was using the Nikkor 70-200VR. Does it matter? I don't know but I would just like to mention in an effert to find out where the problem lies. Also I am only at 4200 frames taken.

    AJ, you are not dreaming as some may think!

    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  27. It happened to me last weekend during a swim meet... I had the 70-200vr mounted and it gave me a false low battery a few times. Each time, just rebooted the camera and it worked fine. I put it off to a combination of the heat and humidity in the pool area.

    May have to send it in after all.

    Dave
     
  28. Howdy,

    Well, nothing has really been solved yet. However, I did receive one of my cameras back
    from nikon about a week ago. There tech form stated that they could not duplicate the
    problems that we were having (black frame, false low battery) and the only thing they did
    was update the firm ware. My only wish is that I could have a Nikon Rep. follow me around
    for the day so, they could see the problem happen on site. My other co-worker got
    another one of his cameras back and this time instead of replacing the aperture lever they
    replaced the lens mount due to it being warped. It seems very strange that the techs are
    replacing parts on some cameras and not others even though they are having the same
    problems. Two more of my cameras are being shipped out to nikon so I'm hoping this time
    around they can duplicate the problem.

    Cheers,
    A.J.
     
  29. Have you sent them a copy of the black frame? The tech support website has a system to do that.
     
  30. I'm sorry to see this isn't resolved better as I am having similar issues.

    Quick summary- bought the D300 in November, shot a wedding right after Christmas and noticed the back panel freeze up a couple times. Being a new camera, I thought that I must have hit something like a combination of buttons. I wasn't always paying attention to what I was doing when it happened.

    Next wedding was the beginning of March, same issue. Sent it to Nikon for repair. They listed two repair items "SC 202183" and "SC 201759" but didn't say what they actually did other than ckecked the control pane, shutter mechanism, flash operation, AF operation, release sw, upgraded the firmware, and cleaned the ccd.

    Got the camera back the other day, and found MORE problems with it. Not only did it hang up again, but now I am getting the "dead battery" issue again! I added an MB-D10 grip, so I don't know if that triggered it, but I was getting the same issue without it.

    Oh, and I also had a memory card fail when I got home. AAARRRGGGHHHH!

    I'll be placing a call to Nikon in the morning!

    Sam
     
  31. Well, now the camera which had the lens mount replaced is experiencing both problems
    again.(Black frame and False battery issue) I was shooting the Twins vs Angels baseball
    game for Associated Press and I was having problems the whole game. I could get fired
    from my job if I don't get the critical pictures. For example, Torii Hunter received his 7th
    golden glove award, if I didn't get that picture the photo editor at associated press
    would've been furious. Also, the camera I got back and the two loners that Nikon gave us
    are all failing. VERY FRUSTRATING.

    -Come on Nikon issue a recall-
     
  32. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    A.J., if Nikon doesn't know what the problem is and how to fix it, what is the point to order a recall, and what are they going to do with the recalled cameras?

    I moderate the Nikon Forum here and bought a D300 in the 2nd week since it became available (November 2007). I see a few isolated complaints, and understandably, those people complain loudly, but otherwise a lot of us, including me, have absolutely no problem with our D300's. When I wrote the D300 Review here for photo.net, I also used a loaner D300 from Nikon; we had no problem with that sameple either.

    The following link is to a thread in the Nikon Forum on a similar topic. I also mentioned this thread in that other thread so that people can cross reference their issues and experiences. Please take a look at Joe Hurley's posts. Apparently cleaning the electronic contacts with a particular product seems to work for a number of people, but I have no personal experience with that solution.

    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00OYX4

    If that still fails, I would suggest pressuring Nikon to replace your cameras with new ones.

    Good luck.
     
  33. Appreciate the update, AJ.

    So you actually want these cameras to *work* when you take 'em out on assignment ?

    Every time ?

    Picky, picky, picky ...

    Seriously, it's hard to believe that if these problems can be replicated, Nikon hasn't been able to resolve them. A request for replacements would certainly be well within the realm of reason, and coming from pro photogs, who have many (faulty) cameras, I think it would carry extra weight.
     
  34. I'm here to back-up what A. J. is reporting as a problem with the D300. Both of my D300 cameras have this problem- intermittent black-frame and the occasional false low battery reading. It should be noted that THESE PROBLEMS ONLY OCCUR WHEN USING AN 80-200mm LENS. Another photographer in my office has the exact problem with both his D300's (that's a 100% failure rate) and it ONLY occurs with his 70-200mm lens. Obviously there is a problem with the mount/contacts using a longer, heavier lens. One of my two D300's even occasionally and spontaneously releases the shutter when attached to the same long heavy lens.
     
  35. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Andrew, I am afraid it is not that simple. As least based on what I have seen, the 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR is often mentioned in these failure reports, and cleaning the electronic contacts between body and lens seems to work for a large percentage of the cases. If the weight of the lens is the issue, cleaning the contacts shouldn't fix it.

    I happen to have a number of long lenses, including a 500mm/f4, which obviously is typically supported by a tripod. Last December, I spent a fair amount of time in San Diego photographing pelicans in flight, and I was hand holding a 300mm/f2.8 AF-S with the D300. The main problem was that my arms and back got a bit sore about a couple of days; nothing was wrong with the camera.

    But somehow the 70-200 seems to be a common component in these cases. As I mentioned in the thread I cited above, it is important to send both the camera(s) and lens(es) to Nikon to help them reproduce this problem. If they only have your cameras which have no problem with other lenses, it is likely that the repair will get nowhere for quite a while.

    A.J. started this thread on February 18, so this issue has dragged on for a month and half. That is a long time.
    I do have a couple of contacts in Nikon USA but I don't know them all that well. I'll get in touch with them and see whether they provide some information on this particular problem.
     
  36. If there is an issue with large lenses, one would expect it to show up most frequently with something like the 70-200 because that is probably the most common large lens mounted on the D300.

    The 300mm and longer lenses probably have a fraction of the production of the 70-200.

    Are photojournalists more likely to have the camera with a mounted lens bouncing around in the bag? If there's a latent problem, perhaps a factor like that exacerbates it.
     
  37. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I am approaching this problem two ways: (1) I have brought this thread and other similar threads to the attention of a manager inside Nikon. He is willing to bring A.J.'s repair problem to the attention of the head of Nikon USA repair, if A.J. can provide the repair order number, etc. I am sure A.J. is already in close contact with Nikon repair anyway, so I don't know whether this offer will provide additional help, but it is available. (I have sent e-mail to A.J. separately.)

    (2) I am going to summarize the "false dead battery" issue reported in various thread and discuss that with Nikon USA Technical Support through photo.net's contact. Therefore, if other people have similar problems with their D300, please do post them with some details to this thread. For example, the 70-200 seems to play a role and somehow cleaning the contacts seems to help. The more data points we have, the more clues we should get.

    Most of this work will happen in the background, but if there is useful development, I'll share it in this thread.

    In the larger scheme of things, Nikon started producing the D300 around August last year (perhaps earlier) and the initial rate was 70K units a month. That was subsequently increased to 80K. Roughly speaking, there should be over half a million D300 cameras out there. It is typical that a few percent of a product like this to have some problems, but for the sake of argument, if 1% of them have this particular problem, that would be 5000 units and if only 1% of those are reported in photo.net forums, we would be overwhelmed by 50 different reports.

    Meanwhile, Nikon is doing extremely well financially. If they need to replace ten D300 bodies, that should be peanuts for them.

    Finally, concerning big lenses, I use a 500mm/f4 and a 200-400mm/f4 often. A 70-200mm/f2.8 is not that big and should not be putting that much stress on the lens mount. Additionally, when using these lenses, the combo should always be supported from the lens and therefore the weight of the lens should not be a problem. Some PJ and news photographers don't take very good care of their equipment, but that is a different issue altogether.
     
  38. OK, time to fess up: I did experience some strange battery issue with the D300 and I suspect it had something to do with the MB-10 grip -- I am not sure. I mostly used it with the 200-400 lens at that time. I did use the MB-1o for quite a while before the battery appeared dead. Replacing the AA batteries alone did not seem to work, so I replaced the EN-EL3e as well. At that point, the battery supply became intermittent. I tried another spare EN-EL3e and the condition was the same. Typically, it would come alive for a while when I turned the camera off and then on again. This was most annoying as I was in Tanzania shooting wildlife. I am sure it had cost me some would-be-nice shots. Finally I took the MB-10 grip off completely and the situation seemed a bit better; the battery-on duration seemed to be longer. When I got back to the lodge, I used a microfibre cloth to clean all the battery contacts of the camera and EN-EL3e batteries. It started to get better and I have not experienced another episode again. I have not put the MB-10 grip back onto the camera again. Somehow I am thinking that the problem had something to do with it, perhaps coupled with dirty contacts inside the battery chamber. As someone suggested above, the problem could have been aggravated by multiple factors, such as climate issue, etc. However, it may be noteworthy that the D200 did not have this problem at all, and I used the same battery pool.

    Mary
     
  39. One more thing, Shen. For me, at least, the problem is lens specific. Even after carefully cleaning the contacts, I can actually see the aperture reading change on the camera display when I twist the lens manually(as it has some give). Likewise, the other photographer in my office only has this problem with his similar lens. Something is not lining up properly with these lenses- my theory is that the mount is machined slightly differently on the D300 and after using a heavy lens it actually warps enough to intermittently cause these problems. Keep in mind that I shoot thousands of frames every week and my 80-200mm is my workhorse. Also, the problem only occurred after significant use of this lens. Hope this clarifies things. But we're stumped.
     
  40. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Mary and Andrew, thanks again for the input. I am sure this is a tough problem to figure out.
     
  41. Folks....

    A) Nikon is aware of it and is looking into it. The problem is that they'll need to find cameras where they can reliably reproduce this to study just what the heck is causing it. On one body, the shot 3,000 frames with my cmaera dn my brand new 500 VR and found no issues...and it failed 26 images after I got it back.

    B) I'm on body #5 and that one has failed and I'm currently shooting a D2Xs loaner instead. The D300 sits and Nikon advises they'll be in touch as soon as they have some information.

    C) Along with the loss of power / lockup, I experience really bad AF ability, especially out past 25 yards and at times, the camera will attempt to focus and just lock up while doing so.It's almost as if the AF is ratcheting or stuttering (no...VR isn't on) and I'm thinking that all of this is interrelated.

    D) It isn't the grip or batteries as I've encountered this with grip, no grip, no battery in the camera, etc. I've beeen sent new batteries to try, new CF cards, etc.

    E) Lenses I've been using when it occurs: 28-70 AFS, 300 f4 AFS, 500 AFSII and now my 500 VR...both with and without converters.
     
  42. Anything been resolved concerning this problem. My D3 has same problems with false battery readings and now I am getting the black frames. This is with the 200-400 vr.
     
  43. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I am in touch with A.J. Olmscheid (who started this thread) via private e-mail. A.J. has received some cameras back from Nikon, and I'll let A.J. provide any details.

    I am in touch with two different folks with Nikon, but I haven't received any official information concerning this D300 issue yet.

    This is fist time I hear a similar complaint on the D3.
     
  44. In software on the black screens, shutter speed and iso show, but apereture read is missing. You can get some detail when you bring exposure up in software, but not much. Even autofocus is getting intermittent today, have to turn camera off then back on, sometimes more than once. I use the af-on button, but I don't think that is relevant.
     
  45. Just got one of my D300's back from Nikon repair. Evidently they adjusted the aperture lever. Dark frame problem (no longer calling it black frame, as the image is severely underexposed) came back after a few days. Now Nikon wants me to send in my 80-200mm lens with the camera. We'll see...
     
  46. I continue to shoot the loaner D2Xs Nikon sent me with the last replacement D300 body.

    That D300 continues to have really poor AF with my 500 VR, AF lockup, inability to acquire and intermittent low battery lockup.

    My last communication from Nikon was to use the D2Xs loaner and basically sit tight while Nikon looks into this.

    The D300 for the most part just sits currently.
     
  47. I bought my D300 in November, two weeks ago I started having problems with the intermittent low battery lockup. I started having this problem using the MB-10 and 70-200 VR lens. My D200 is working a little more now until the D300 gets fixed.
     
  48. >>Shun Cheung: For example, the 70-200 seems to play a role and somehow cleaning the contacts seems to help. The more data points we have, the more clues we should get.<<

    Shun, the damned thing happened to me with an 18-70 mounted. So are you going to add up the 18-70 in the list of suspects or it is just the obvious?
     
  49. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Folks, first of all, I have been trying to get some answers from Nikon USA on this issue. I have talked to two different contacts photo.net and I have. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get an official answer yet, but Nikon is clearly aware of this issue, and they are aware of this thread in photo.net also.
    I think it is fair to say that this is a difficult problem to diagnose.
    Again, let me repeat these suggestions:
    • A lot of the problems happen with the 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR or other long teles mounted. That may have something to do with the fact that those lenses have large elements that require more current from the D300 body to drive them, but we are not sure.
    • Cleaning the electronic contacts between body and lens seems to help in a lot of situations.
    • If cleaning doesn't fix it, I would send both the D300 body and at least one lens that causes this problem to Nikon for diagnostics. If Nikon only gets the D300 body, that is merely half of the problem; it is likely that it'll take much longer and a lot more frustration on your part before this problem can be resolved.
    • If Nikon cannot fix the problem after the D300 has been back twice, I would pressure them to replace your camera unless the problem is in the lens. Most of the D300 bodies out there do not have this problem. For example, mine works perfectly from day 1, and I have a very early sample (purchased in late November, 2007, a week after the D300 was released) and I use all sorts of long teles with it, including a 70-200 and 200-400mm/f4 AF-S VR.
    • This problem is not totally limited to the D300 body and the 70-200 zoom. I have seen 1 or 2 reports that some D3 have the same issue and with other lenses, but most of them involve the D300 and 70-200.
      I know these comments are not that helpful to those who run into this problem, but until Nikon provides an official answer, there is not a whole lot more photo.net and I can do.
     
  50. I bought a D300 in March and started having the false battery warning within the first two
    weeks. I'm using the new 16-85 VR lens. The first time I noticed it was when I used a
    sb-600 flash and since then it was happened at least a couple of times a day with or
    without the flash. It also happens quite a lot if I attach the quick release plate for my
    tripod. The only way I can get this false battery warning to go away is to take out the
    battery and put it back in.

    I'm hoping Nikon can figure this out because I don't want to send it to them and have no
    resolution. Also, it would be nice if there were an email address we could write to and
    discuss the issue with a technician instead of having to call a service center where they
    won't understand the problem. I'll continue to follow this thread to see what Nikon says
    about the problem. Thanks for looking into this issue Shun.

    Kurney
     
  51. I received my Nikon D300 as a gift in late February. I use a Sigma DC 18-200 mm lens. For the first two weeks it worked wonderfully, but soon after it began having the false battery reading issue, and had had a couple of black frames, with the aperture info being blank on the image info.

    I called Nikon and the tech told me that he had to let someone know about my issue, as someone above him was keeping an eye on this particular problem. After, he tried to hint that it was my lens causing the problem. It had no issues when I had the AF and OS off, so it is definately NOT a battery drain issue because of the lens. I also contacted Sigma, and they hadn't heard of an issue with that combination(and, apparently, the person I talked to had the same setup and had no problems, though I'm not sure if that was a factual statement or not).

    I did some research into the problems I was having, and found the threads mentioning the exact issues that my D300 was having, and they mentioned that cleaning the contacts may clear it up. I went to the nearby Nikon dealer to have them clean the contacts, I (even though it's not probable) did not want to take the chance of Nikon telling me the issues were from me cleaning it.

    After the cleaning, the camera functioned properly for about a week and a half before it started having the same issues again. I'm sure it's not from any temperature issues as the first time it started malfunctioning it had not been outside at all in at least 15 hours, and I was shooting inside at room temperature.

    I sent the camera out to Nikon in Melville and have yet to hear anything about what the problem actually is. It's "In Shop". It's only been a week or two, but the images I'm missing are driving me insane. I can't wait to get it back, and I hope they actually fix the problem.
     
  52. "it would be nice if there were an email address we could write to and discuss the issue with a technician instead of having to call a service center where they won't understand the problem"
    It is possible to email a technician directly. Register at the link below and submit one via a form. The rest of the conversation can be via email. The email format is very ugly but the direct dialog is there. I've had mixed results. Occasionally it seems the technician doesn't understand me but other times they have been helpful.
    http://support.nikontech.com
     
  53. Hello

    I have followed this thread and Nikonians and I too have this issue . I sent in my 70 x 200 Vr and they replaced the lens bayonet mount and adjusted . The lens is tighter but i still have the dead battery issue with a D200 and a new D300. I sent in my D200 and it is on parts hold now at nikon NY. I have contacted Shun by email Thanks Shun for looking into this for all of us. I too have friends with D3 and the same issue is happening with them. I will wait to see if nikon fixes the D200 first and what they did before i send in my D300 . i don't have any issues with my other Nikon VR lens. I am confused as to what is up . In my case the lens was repaired and inspected and that wasn't the cause but what nikon did to the lens helped. OH the lens was only 6 moths old hardly used as i always had focus issues on My D200.
     
  54. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Folks, don't need to thank me. Since I moderate the Nikon Forum here and also reviewed the D300 for photo.net, I am curious about this problem myself, although fortunately I have no problems so far.

    Unfortunately, I still haven't received an official answer from Nikon yet. I won't respond to individual posts because I would be saying this same thing again and again.
     
  55. Whoa - did anyone notice that Joe said that the dead battery problem is on his D200 as well?

    This is like a scary movie. I just gotta stay positive that I'm in the other 90% that is doing okay...or 99% or whatever
     
  56. Hello

    I just called Nikon and they have repaired my D200 that had the same issue as my D300 ( Dead battery with 70x200 2.8 VR lens )I havent seen the report yet but the nikon tech support person said they replaced three elec parts including the MB adjusted focus cleaned and mapped out dead pixel , replaced the rubber grip and others. If this works I will repost . My D300 hasn't had the dead battery issue after cleaning all contacts with Deoxit . I sent in my other D200 last fall for the same issue and it works fine now .

    Thats three for three with the dead battery issue and the above lens.
     
  57. Shun, the second thread you reference is quite likely to be a case of the 70-200mm f2.8 grounding problem, which tends to look like a camera problem if you haven't seen it before.

    You mention "A lot of the problems happen with the 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR or other long teles mounted". Wild guess, the particular group of lenses is the same ones that crash many Nikon bodies (especially D70) when teleconverters are used, due to the well documented lens power distribution problem. The group of four or five lenses includes the 70-200mm f2.8 and the 300mm f4. There's a Nikon repair procedure for a "ground modification" or "earth modification", a one wire addition that clears it right up.

    The Nikonians thread was started by a person who found out that it was really a 70-200mm problem. Half the complaints in the Nikonians thread also are about problems that won't happen in the shop, could this be because the shop didn't have access to the lens that was used by the person with the problems. One guy had a camera lens mount replaced three times. What are the odds, bad camera, or a bad lens that's chewing up mounts? At least one person in that thread was smart enough and, more importantly, calm enough to notice this.
     
  58. Hi

    Follow -up for dead battery issue for me and the 70 x 200 2.8 Vr lens. this is the only lens in my collection that gives me this issue.

    Nikon repaired my D200 a few weeks ago and the dead battery issue was fixed .I posted this in another area but will use this one in the future .

    I just sent in my D300 last week for the dead battery issue the temp cleaning with deoxit was not working . I will repost with an update as to the fix if any on my D300.

    As a further note I sent in my 70 x 200 2.8 vr to nikon a few month ago and they replaced the bayonet mount and adjusted the focus . The lens fits tighter on all three camera bodies but still created the dead battery issue .
     
  59. Well, I have to say that this is all discouraging. I was in the process of ordering a D300 and decided to go to a forum and see what others had to say. This has put a definite hold on my decision to purchase this Camera. I would assume others have done the same thing, Nikon is probably losing quite a few sales due to this. I personally dont want to take the chance that I will get a dud and have to go through hell getting it replaced and or fixed (it looks like there is no fix). Why would someone buy a camera with known faults and failures - I would have to sell my D80 and other equipment to purchase one - the thought of having to go through what others have gone through is just not worth it to me. I also find it poor customer service for Nikon to deny that there is a problem. Maybe now they are having to admit it, but how much frustration has there been. Nikon should have someone monitoring all the popular forums for issues like this and be on top of it when someone calls - not act like they have never heard of it. ( By the way I have seen this statement on quite a few forums, different people, so it is happening ). I hope they get it right, I would hate to change brands, but is a possibility.
     
  60. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Mark, I am afraid that you are drawing completely the wrong conclusion here.

    I suggest you to also take a look at this thread from a week ago:
    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00PPbf

    By far the majority of D300 owners, including me, have absolutely no problem whatsoever. However, a few individuals do have serious problems that Nikon apparently has difficulty to fix.

    It is like a few years ago there used to be quite a few trouble reports for the F100, which was at the time the best selling Nikon (film) SLR. Not that the F100 had any major problems in general, but just because there were a lot of F100 bodies out there, the number of complaints was high. Typically the majority of satisfied owners simply don't post about their positive experience.
     
  61. Hello

    As I read this thread I see that other than a few people who use the 70 x 200 vr on their cameras state that it must be a user problem or a rare problem.

    Let me share my experience as I own a D300 , D200 , D3, D70, and I won't go into my Canon gear. I shoot for fun and look at the camera as a tool and as all my tools i use them allot not abuse them. With any tool you need to get to know it inside out and bond with it to get the most out of it for your purpose. That said most casual shooter only buy the entry level lens or just shoot once in a while. I take at least 200 pic a day so my camera get used . The new VR lens are energy hungry and the weight doesn't help either. The more electronics used in these lens the more critical the contacts and pathways are.

    The 70 x 200 2.8VR is one of the most popular lens .I have one and have had it serviced by nikon NY a month ago for the dead battery issue mentioned on the D200 and D300 and now some D3 cameras body. Nikon replaced the bayonet and adjusted the lens focus. Nikon gave it a clean bill of health as to comply with their spec for that lens. Granted it does focus much sharper and faster and fits tighter on the camera body.

    That took care of the loose play when mounted on the camera body. I could repeat the dead battery issue by twisting the lens on the body as you would under normal use shooting hand held not on a tripod.

    On to the camera body problem !!!!! I sent in two D200 body wrote a letter with all info as to the issue i was seeing and the repair done on the 70x 200 2.8 VR . I also included that this lens was the only lens i had that would create the dead battery issue. Results !!! Nikon replaced several electrical items in the camera and adjusted the focus . WOW they fixed both D200 body now so far they work great with the 70 x 200 2.8 VR.

    On to the D300 , It is in repair status now at nikon NY and I included a letter with a history as i did with my D200 camera body. I will repost as to the the repairs done and if they fixed the D300 .

    My point is that Nikon is a large company and as a large company their will always be problems with products. If every one used their camera and had the same lens it would be easier to isolate an issue. Being said I would advise anyone who has this issue to send in the camera and lens that is creating the problem to Nikon and let them fix it. I have read in some case that people did that and didn't get any results. I can only say so far that every piece of nikon equipment that i have sent into nikon NY has returned perfect and in most case better that new.

    I have had to send in every nikon camera and lens for repair so quality issue maybe but i use my gear not abuse it so if their is a problem I usually will see it .
     
  62. I also am starting to experience this frustrating issue. I have approx 4200 shutter releases to date and I get a low battery warning about 20% of the time. It occurs either with my 80-400mm VR or my Micro 105mm VR. I brought it to the Nikon service centre in Montreal where they were not able to reproduce the problem. They indicated that they suspected that VR was part of the problem as it draws power from the battery. I am not convinced. Anyhow, they cleaned the contacts and returned the camera. I hope that this will fix it. I'll post a follow-up either way as soon as I have new data to contribute.
     
  63. Ok !!!! round four for me.

    I just called nikon and they couldn't find anything wrong with my D300 general cleaning and adjusting focus was their reply no parts replaced. My second D200 that was just repair has started to do the dead battery issue again . I have had it with this issue . I really think that we all are getting the run around For me I will never buy another nikon product again . I have invested in Canon L lens and a 40D and love the pictures the controls are not as easy as nikon but It isn't that big of an issue. I have made thousand of shots with the 40D and love it. Every time i take my nikon out it fails in one way or another. I never thought I would be saying what i just did as using nikon for 15 years. I have payed good money for camera equipment and when it doesn't perform for me i have to look at the reason.

    I quite being loyal why should we as consumers put up with faulty equipment and repair and hit and miss fixes in my case no fix. Their is an option to keep the lower end lens that work and not buying the more expensive lens that give us problems. But isn't that the whole reason for investing in one camera brand to be able to upgrade and keep the glass.

    Just my experience with this problem and at 57 I have no patients for these type of issues life is too short i just want to take pictures and have fun doing it.
     
  64. Hi,

    I have 2 Nikon D300 and BOTH started to have this problem after 2 weeks heavy usage. Both only have this problem in combination with then Nikon AFS VR 70-200 2.8. If you use this lense it has a bigger tollerace within the bajonett - you can turn it about 2mm to the left and right - this does not happen on a D200, F5, D3 or so on... If you use other lenses on the D300 it does also not happen. - So if now you have the lense in a somewhat bad position - there is a contact problem and you get eiter a F0 error or a battery error displayed and a black picture taken.
    I have opened a service request at Nikon. In this state the cameras are nearly useless with the 70-200 VR. And also sometimes: I get a flatter within the VR...

    regards

    Alex
     
  65. Seems to me that the 2mm play you describe is outrageously large. Make sure you emphasize this in your communications with Nikon. This may be a key issue and it could be that the D300 is particularly sensitive to misalignment of the electrical contacts.
     
  66. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Alexander, I highly recommend you send BOTH the D300 body (bodies) and the 70-200mm lens to Nikon for evaluation. This could well be a problem with your lens.

    Nikon USA has never responded to my inquary about this general problem back in April. I waited a week back then and asked them again; they said that they got my e-mail but did not respond.

    Incidentally, earlier today Thom Hogan has commented on this very topic in DPReview. A few weeks ago, I talked to him briefly over e-mail, citing this particular thread, and he gave me essentially the same answer as in his post:
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1039&message=28063520

    And Hogan followed up with a more thorough answer:
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1039&message=28065721
     
  67. Follow - up nikon repair NY

    I just received my D300 from Nikon NY a letter stated they could not re create the issue cleaned and returned. Now what is wrong with this issue both my D300 and 70x200 2.8 vr have been sent in and they still fail on me when the combo is in use. I am doing nothing other than using the combo. I feel like they are just passing this one off as user error not camera. WHY !!!!!!!
     
  68. Joe,

    Wow! You get your lens and camera combo back from Nikon and you are able to reproduce your issue out of the box. And this was after they had successfully made earlier repairs to the same lens and two D200 bodies that had similar issues?

    Sounds possibly like the individual tech who looked at the D300/70-200 may have been sloppy.

    I'd suggest a politely worded letter sent to tech support management. If it's a very consistent problem, you can describe how disappointed that they didn't reproduce it this time despite having successfully done so with the earlier repairs. An insinuation about how you might switch to staying with your gear from another large DSLR manufacturer might get a little more attention.

    I'm not saying Nikon doesn't want to do a good repair job. But technicians are human and they can miss things.

    Maybe ask Nikon to pay for the next round of shipping and to expedite the service. In the past, when I've taken the time to write a well phrased letter describing all my circumstances, I've received good results.
     
  69. New follow-up

    Just received my D300 back from Nikon fro the DBS . Nikon cleaned and checked . A letter was sent that they couldn't reproduce the issue. I sent it in with a letter that i was using the nikon 70x 200 2.8 Vr and i keep getting the dead battery issue. Nikon sent me a new battery to try just in case the old one was an issue. I use AA and the grip but did put the battery in the camera as a backup. I took at least 500 pictures over the weekend no problem . Nikon did take a thousand pictures while they had it so i know they tested it.

    Time will tell if the DBS will return or not
     
  70. Has anyone had an update on this yet?

    Mine is doing it and I am terrified to hand it to Nikon for weeks only to get it back with a letter saying that they can't duplicate the problem.

    I need my camera and I need it to function. It's a month old for crying out loud! They are obviously still manufacturing these with the
    problem which is really scary.
     
  71. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Nikon D300 firmware version 1.03 is supposed to address this false battery low issue, at least according to the press releases. It is too soon to tell whether that is really the fix.
    See this thread for the new firmware information:
    http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00Q19n

    If you have personal experience about whether this is the fix or not, please follow up.
     
  72. I just bought my d300 at b&h in NY. No I am back in Norway, and my camera is completely "dead". Nothing works. I hav
    recharged the battery etc, but it doesnt help. Have som of you found an answer to this problem?
     
  73. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Hi F.B., I assume you had tested your D300 thoroughly while you were in New York.
    I would check the electronic contacts as well as the battery. Make sure that the contacts are clean, especially among those between battery and camera. Also check the contacts around the lens mount area. Hopefully you can find another EN-EL3e to test your camera with.

    Did you have the D300 with you in your hand-carry luggage all the time? Hopefully it did not suffer from any impact during the trip.
     
  74. Thank you for the answer. Yes, I had the D300 in my hand-carry luggage all the time, and it worked fine also after I came back
    to Norway.

    Saturday I did some videorecording on a rock-concert. The D300 was in a bag close to one of the subwoofers. My
    videocamera was in the same bag. That camera worked fine both during the concert and afterwards. I did not use the D300
    during the concert, but when I tried to turn it on afterwards, it did not work.

    Why is it important to check the contacts around the lens mount area? In New York I checked the camera before I put on the
    lens. The display worked just fine...
     
  75. The camera just recovered. Everything works fine. I don�t know why. Maybe it got wet and needed som time to dry :)
     
  76. I have the same f0 and battery issues with my D300 purchased in April. The problems started about 3 weeks ago using
    my 17-55 lense. I'll report back if the firmware update helps.
     
  77. I just had this problem and it happened when they were doing the toast... make the long story short, I was sweating bullets since I know I charged the batteries the night before and all three batteries seems to be not working. Took the battery out of the backup camera a d200 and it was still the same... put it back on the d200 the battery was full. I know the d300 is the issue so turned it off and on and it was still the same no battery... Turned it on and off again and it was working... I had the Nikon 17-55 on. So after research I found out that this issue is common especially to people with 70-200. A lot of people suggest cleaning the contacts, upgrade the firmware and did all that to make sure something like that won't happen again... but the thing is before I did all that I can't replicate the dead battery syndrome...

    Though when I cleaned the lens mount there was some sort of residue it could be that months ago I brought the camera near the beach...
     

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